By Mac Larsen | CNA Media Team
Take a walk down the grocery store aisle during this season. You see chocolate, marshmallow and stuffed rabbits, and the list goes on and on.
For many, spring brings bunnies to mind more often than any other time of year, unless you’re a volunteer for Rabbit Advocates. Then bunnies are a year-round concern.
Concordian Brian Duval is a volunteer with Rabbit Advocates and recently rescued a large white rabbit from his neighbor’s yard.
“I was in between fostering rabbits, so I took the offer to take this one in, and foster it for the time being,” Brian said. “He’s just hilarious, following me around everywhere, nipping at the bottom of my pants to pet him.
“You know, it takes a really long time for a rabbit to warm up to you. But this guy was like, ‘I’m ready for a friend.’ And I was like, ‘Me too,’ so we put in the adoption papers.”
Rabbit Advocates is an all-volunteer nonprofit founded in Portland 20 years ago. The mission is to help stray domesticated rabbits find new owners after they’ve been abandoned or otherwise left without permanent homes.
“There are domestic rabbits and wild rabbits, which are different animals. And these animals that we’re fostering and we’re rescuing are domesticated rabbits that are meant to be pets,” Brian said.
The most noticeable difference between pet rabbits and wild rabbits is size and color. A wild rabbit usually is small and solid brown. If a rabbit looks larger, has spots or is white, then the rabbit may be a lost pet.
Rabbit Advocates’ volunteers are trained to care properly for the rescued rabbits until permanent homes are found.
“In 2021, Rabbit Advocates rescued 160 new bunnies from perilous situations and found excellent adoptive homes for 148 bunnies with the help of 85 certified foster families in the Greater Portland Area,” cited the Rabbit Advocates year-end report.
According to Brian, Rabbit Advocates’ work is important because domesticated rabbits can’t defend themselves in the wild. “They don’t have the breeding to understand predators or survive.”
Rabbit Advocates educates the public about the differences between wild and pet rabbits, how to spot the differences and provides rescue and adoption resources for those who’ve found lost rabbits.
If you’re interested in adopting or fostering a bunny through Rabbit Advocates, visit RabbitAdvocates.org.
As for the rabbit Brian rescued from neighbor Peter’s yard, he named it Morgan. “I couldn’t name him Peter. That would be too obvious.”
Mac Larsen is a graduate student at the University of Oregon, pursuing a master’s degree in journalism. He grew up in Concordia neighborhood and can be found frequently on Alberta Street, complaining about all the construction.